Astro Cuckoo

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Scottie-TX, Nov 9, 2013.

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  1. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    I'm reasonably certain most would agree a cuckoo is not regarded as an accurate timepiece and normally I would agree. Now I'm not obsessed with an accurate cuckoo but a few mos. ago I began for some reason to track mine and see how close I could come. Surprised, I came close. REAL close but you know how difficult it is to move that leaf a mm. A tweak one direction and it's several minutes fast a week and vice versa. Well I had time on my hands and about an hour or so later, I borrowed the idea from a Wiener I have here. It's a micro adjustment applied to the stick. At less than a half ounce total for the entire pendulum it certainly won't take much weight to affect it. The micro is a teeny chunka lead friction fit to a steel guide.
    Currently I'm tweaking the leaf as previously and when I get into that final tweak range I'll turn to the micro and begin assessing it's effects
    Here: My astronomical cuckoo!
     

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  2. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    Hi Scottie,
    Cool idea, I have been kicking some ideas around but mostly they have been kicked out!
    Yours certainly simplifys the approach. I have been considering a similar concept,only mounting it on the back of the stick and using a thraded weight.
    It sometimes puzzles me why every now an then I run into one that sets up quickly and turns into a pretty accurate time keeper.In my book any thing less than 5 min a week is an accurate cuckoo. Some I have struggled with to get less than 5 min a day! LOL
    tom
     
  3. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Well this just seemed to be a perfect candidate cuckoo as despite it's lack of service, attention, etc. it has continued to be reliable on eight ounces and for some reason just seems eager to please. I don't recall it's last service - years probably.
     
  4. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    What is Astro's duration Scottie?
     
  5. Randy Beckett

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    Hi Scottie,

    I believe one of the main factors to a cuckoos inconsistent timekeeping comes from the pendulum being constructed entirely of wood. Changes in humidity levels will cause the pendulum to gain and lose weight constantly. This effect will be exagerated for you and I this time of year because of where we live, with this seasons typical weather cycles.

    Also, because of the weight of the chain, the movement gets slightly different amounts of power depending on how low the weights are, which will have more timekeeping effect on the cuckoo because of it's recoil escapement.

    Your modification to your pendulum is very clever and will work well to aid in fine tuning the rate.

    With an endless chain setup to stabilize the power to the movement, along with a pendulum which will remain stable through varying humidity conditions, and I don't see why a cuckoo shouldn't be capable of a minute a week accuracy, or less. However I haven't tried it, so it's just my theory.


    Good luck on your experiment, and nice work. Randy
     
  6. shutterbug

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    I use a pencil to mark the bob location. Then using the mark as a reference I can move the bob very small amounts at a time. When I find the right spot for accuracy I make a more permanent location reference on the back side.
    Like Tom, I'd have put the adjuster on the back side, Scottie :)
     
  7. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    To move the bob the tiniest amount, I hold the rod in
    my hand and but my thumb against the bob. I squeeze
    down on it until I feel it slip a tiny amount.
    I'd considered a threaded piece on the back but as
    Randy says, there are a lot of other influences.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  8. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Putting the micro adjuster on the back of the rod makes no sense to me. You would have to remove the pendulum so you could see what you were doing every time you wanted to adjust it.
     
  9. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    True, but it looks odd on the front :)
     
  10. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    #10 Scottie-TX, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
    Oh ABsolutely not on the back. This is an ASTRO cuckoo! It wants to BOAST it's added appendage for ALL to view. I mean, if you can't see it, just another cuckoo. Yeah; It's a day runner that I lift twice a day. Possibly accuracy could be improved with a single daily lift but borrowing from RANDY's observation, one may consider whether two lifts may be better than one if the disruption of a lift can offset the effects of increased power due to more chain on the powered side. I may experiment with that later.
    RANDY I understand your track but consider the length, mass, and expansion rate of wood. But at four inches long and less than a half ounce being influenced by an expansion factor of at least five and maybe nine decimal places - - - - - -
    You get th' ideer.
    TINK, that is EXackly how I move the leaf - between both my hands, thumbs opposing leaf, a squeeze until I only detect movement.
     
  11. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    And the rest of a Cuckoo doesn't look odd:whistle:
     
  12. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Deucedly clevah, these Texas rednecks! Nutjob
     
  13. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Nope! Hasn't slippt into a crack. Still VERY much an ongoing quest for cuckoo accuracy. Yeah I know BONG. Thats an oksiemore on. But interesting at this juncture. Haven't moved micro yet but may not need to! Ironically my leaf adjustments have recently resulted in timing that posts near zero error in several days and you DON'T adjust zeros.
     
  14. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    If you didn't WANT it to show, put it on the back of the pendulum, and turn the pendulum around so's the backside with the adjuster is showing. Run the clock that way during the adjusting period. When you've got it adjusted perfectly, turn the pendulum around and hide the adjuster.

    Nothin' to it.
     
  15. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Good idea Scottie, i would think maybe it might be easier on a week runner, i might forget to wind the clock.:cuckoo:
     
  16. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Oh I've been lifting Astro's weights so many years now it's like a regimen, KEVIN. Return from my first meal of the day - lift the weights. Some time between ten and midnite - lift the weights.
    Also interesting and explainable that lifting weights on other clocks that use a crank seems to affect them a LOT. Some even stop. However this cuckoo with chain lift doesn't seem to miss a single beat. However it takes less than a second to lift a chained weight and several seconds to lift a cranked weight.
    BONG, you could do that but it would presume the pendulum's mass is perfectly centered which of course it's not. So reversing pendulum would change beat for sure.
     
  17. Randy Beckett

    Randy Beckett Registered User
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    I suppose people adjust the rate to compensate for stoppage while winding or lifting even though they might not realize it. My vienna gains around 20 seconds a week, just about how much time it loses when I wind it. I didn't adjust it that way on purpose, that's just how it worked out. I didn't realize I had done it until I put a atomic clock in the same room.
     
  18. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    O.K. guys 'n gals! Crunch time. Today I shall commence reg. with micro. I have a predictably slow condition of about one second per hour. Now I won't move anything else - hands, leaf - ONLY micro. Then I'll only measure error - NOT time. Yes, time will change while making adjustment but after adjustment, error tracking resumes - not time.
    Suggestions - recommendations WELCOME!
     
  19. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    A lot of work for a clock that is still going to
    vary over time. Still it is fun.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  20. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Don't they all?
     
  21. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    O.K. I've moved it about 3/32" and find it now consistently 12 secs fast and gaining. I'll track it for a day or so and if this is constant I'll make a second change.
     
  22. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Apparently micro is very sensitive too. Now gaining VERY much so just tweeked micro this time. For some reason, cuckoo seems to go ballistic after reg. - I mean - reg. ALL over the map. After sevrul hours, settles into a trackable reg. again. Mebbe position of trapeze or sumfin.
    Naw. It's not much work and, "yeah", I am havin' fun with it.
    Ain't this s'posedta be what the hobby's about?
     

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  23. Randy Beckett

    Randy Beckett Registered User
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    Hi Scottie,
    Since your cuckoo has a recoil escapement, and it also appears to use weight shells rather than the traditional cast weights, have you ever experimented to see how much the rate changes by slight adjustments to the weight? I was thinking this may be a alternative method to fine tune the final rate once you get down as close as you obviously are, as to not disturb the pendulum further. Steel BBs weigh about 1/3 gram each. What do you think?
     
  24. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Wull BECKLY I LOVE your suggestion and may even pursue it when micro comes to an end.
    Currently tho after three micro adjustments I'm QUICKLY learning that small as it is - so light only a chemist could measure it's weight - an EVERSO teensy movement of it results in major changes. So; I'm leaning toward TINK's suggestion of a threaded micro.
    Now, for that I beg YOUR help! I'm not up on machining practises so I beg of you: For an 0-80 die, what size wire should I use?
    What about for a 00-90 die - what size wire? THANX!
     
  25. GregS

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    disciple_dan likes this.
  26. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Thanks GREG: I know there is no such thing but I need a DIE chart. I have a tap chart. I need to know what diameter of rod can I thread with an OH EIGHTY or an OH OH NINETY. Please?
     
  27. GregS

    GregS Registered User

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    An 0-80 thread should have an OD of 0.0600 per the first column in the linked to chart. You could use a 1/16 steel rod which in the US would be a easier to find. If you have a split die you can adjust it to suite your desired thread percentage. Others will likely have additional/corrective information. Keep us posted on your project. HTH, :)
     
  28. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    So an 0-80 die would have a .060 thread O.D? How did you determine 0-80 has a .060 dia?
    Now, sixteenth rod. Sixty two and a half thou rod into a sixty OD die? What does the (0) mean? What does the 80 mean?
    How about 00-90? Reckon what O.D. that would have?
     
  29. GregS

    GregS Registered User

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    Hi Scottie, I am just looking up 0-80 in the chart I sent you a link to. That chart is of standardized thread sizes. The 0 refers to the tap dia. per the standards (think rod diameter). The 80 refers to the number of threads per unit of length, in this case, threads per inch. Keep in mind that it is entirely possible to have a object one inch in diameter cut with 80 threads per inch. The 0-80 has been standardized to .0600 diameter with 80 threads per inch. How many times have you said 6-32 without thinking "a rod of 0.138 dia. with 32 threads per inch"? The chart I linked to shows 0-90 as .047 inch diameter. If your die is stamped 0-80 it will likely have no trouble cutting a .0625 diameter rod. Also, new standards for very small threads were adapted in 1958 and cover threaded diameters down to sizes only Jerry Keefer would love. Of course with clocks there likely are no standards, especially in very old movements with very small screws. HTH! :)
     
  30. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    THANXAZILLION GJ! You've now put in terms my pea--size brain can wraparound. I believe I'll be O.K. from here.
    One more tho; These dies are split. Now; When the screw is at rest I guess it is nominal or spec. size? So if you squeeze it down you'lll be making a thread slightly smaller O.D. than spec. such as 0-80?
     
  31. John Hubby

    John Hubby Principal Administrator
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    For those who may wonder, the clocks posted here previously by ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG have been moved to a new thread Exceptional Black Forest Clocks for better exposure and a new topic.
     
  32. ANTIQUECUCKOOCLOCK.ORG

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  33. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    O.K.! Time to report back with a new start. Thanks to all the help I received here on using a die, ASTRO is now on a better, threaded micro rail. The previous one was simply too stiff and more relevantly - too coarse. Now we'll see what ASTRO can do with an improved micro. His new one is 00-90 threaded brass rod with a small lead slug also 00-90.
    Let the timing commence!
     
  34. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    's bin a while; Had a MAJOR setback when pendulum fell to the floor destroying my coarse leaf adjustment. This time I'll mark the position with tape to prevent future episodes. Meanwhile, last eve's leaf adjustment found it running slightly fast with micro fully, "slow". I moved micro to center of bar and now find it tracking slightly slow so I DO know I'm within the range of the micro and where that range is - above it's current set.
     
  35. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Well, certainly not ready to pop the champagne or sip the Kool-Aid but results encouraging after only 24 hours. Now find it a few secs slow so moved the micro slug upward half the distance I lowered it. I'll keep halving it until it gets VERY close.
    Anyone wanna hazard a guess?
    Just how accurate do you think I can get this clock until it vascillates between fast and slow or still exhibits large variations despite setting. Any takers? I'm hoping for at least one second per day. Possible?
     
  36. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    I doubt you can make it that accurate. How can you measure seconds without a seconds bit? Also, there probably will be enough slop in the motion works that you will have a minute or so difference depending on whether the hand is falling or raising (which half hour you are looking at). Weather, humidity, and pressure changes also will likely have an effect as well as any breeze close to the pendulum.
     
  37. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Wait until spring. Humidity will probably mess you up :)
     
  38. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    You make some intersting and very valid points HAROLD. I track it at XII only as there is large but consistent variation at VI. I track it with the cuckoo sound and an electric clock with a sweep. Weather of course will affect it but for such a short wooden pendulum - suspect very little. It is VERY sheltered here in the kitchen and has not been serviced for years.
     
  39. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    My cuckoo ( actually my mother-in-laws ) that I have running over the
    dining room table right now seems to track the weather some.
    It can change by about 1 or 2 minutes a day with temperature/humidity.
    I try to not chase it with adjusting the pendulum because hopefully,
    in a few days it will change back. Sometimes it'll run for 2 or three
    weeks and be less than 2 minutes off in that total time.
    Light short wood pendulums are not known for high accuracy.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  40. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Correctamundo! Short pendulums are NOT know for accuracy. Wooden ones are afftected more by moisture - metal by temp. A minute a week? That's good considering you haven't obsessed over it as I have. Now approaching accuracy I do note a ten second swing from plus five to minus five. Eventually over a longer time, a track should be exposed - one slo or fast. Perhaps 3/7 or 7/3 for example.
    THANKS TINK!
     
  41. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Scottie, if you are making notes on this, also note the weather (temperature, barometric pressure, fair/stormy) and you should see a difference in accuracy based on what's happening outside.
     
  42. Scottie-TX

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    Nearly a month now and it's been like a dawg chasin' it's tail. Just didn't seem to wanna zero but found the reason. Leaf was EXtremely loose on stick so took care of that and now we resume the process that was useless with a loose component.
     
  43. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

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    Scottie, what movement is in that clock and how much weight is on the time side? Like it has already been stated cuckoo's suffer from light pendulums,tape a couple copper(not the new zinc)pennys to the leaf,one on each side. If you've ever watched the trapeze in these as the impulse kicks you'll notice that when the impulse pushes the hanger to the left the trapeze jumps to the right and vice verse on the right impulse. The weight on the pend will help alleviate this condition. Never did understand why they designed two pivot points in the pendulum. This may sound crazy but how often do you boil water on your stove?,and does it have any effect on rate?
     
  44. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Yeah; I like your penny idea. May even use two indianheads!
     
  45. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

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    Hey Scottie, I recently repaired a 1964 Hubert Herr that had a new Regula 25 with dancer table movement installed in 2007 and the clock hasn't run since. It's been to two shops since,the first shop which in this area is known to be quite reputable worked on it,charged a LOT of money and the clock stopped running shortly after. The second shop claimed it was not repairable. The clock was brought to me and I did a service on the movement,polished the pivots,burnished the holes,no bushings installed,and and serviced the music box. On the music box I had to make the drive side bushing and straighten the bent drum arbor. When the new movement was installed it changed to position of the chains in relation to the holes so I elongated the holes slightly to the left and added 12" to each chain. One of the shops hung 375g weights to try and force it to run. During the time it was sitting the pend had gotten lost so I ordered a new medium blonde maple leaf pend. and 320g weights. The clock has been running good now for almost three weeks and I have been playing the rating game and finally hit it yesterday. Last night it gained 3sec and so far today it is going off consistantly at 8sec after the hour. The trick was to cut 1" off the pend. stick and make my adjustments in less than .010" increments. Use a very sharp pencil to mark the stick and barely nudge the leaf up or down using that mark as your reference.
     
  46. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Lets see now, we have bellows made from dollar bills, pendulums with pennies, what's next, a sock full of quarters for the weight?? Might not be such a bad idea, if you can get some blackforest looking socks. But it could get pricey, as 6 quarters only weighs about 50 grams:whistle:
     
  47. Jay Fortner

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    Harold,the pennys weren't my idea. I worked on a cuckoo that had pennys glued to the leaf. The owner said the german clockmaker that had serviced it for years glued them on there,was the only way to make it keep time.
    And german socks full of pennys would be Soken full of Pfennig.(had to look that up)

    Well since 11:00 it's lost 12 more seconds,we'll have to see what it does as the slack end of the chains pull up.
     
  48. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

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    Hey Scottie,mine has gained back two seconds since 4:00. I think it's the weight of the chains. I'll check it again before I crash,I bet it will gain some more.
     
  49. Scottie-TX

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    Gotcha covered! Socket book to th' rescue! I have a jukebox so I defnatly DO have quarters.
    zamatterafack I've already got a weighted pendulum. Forgot to mention but it has a blossom glued to the leaf that is probably close to equal two pennies' worth. Now, if pennies work, would BIG pennies work better?
     

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  50. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

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    Alright Scottie,went out there and watched it go off at 10:00. It gained back 3 more seconds and the free ends of the chains are now even with the bottoms of the weights. Hopefully it will be 3sec. fast again by 8:00 tomorrow morning and then the guy is coming to pick it up.
     

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